Last Friday morning, we hosted a special Coffee with the Mayor in Council Chambers at City Hall. We invited Frisco ISD and Frisco Police Department to hold a community discussion on school violence and how we can improve safety. Police Chief Bruce participated and FISD brought all of their senior staff along with Superintendent Waldrip, School Board President John Classe, and Trustees Bryan Dodson, Anne McCausland, Chad Rudy, and Debbie Gillespie. Chief Bruce showed a video on the SAFER program which is a coordinated effort between the City and FISD to protect our schools. Superintendent Waldrip explained they are reviewing many aspects of their security with the focus being on: identification, intervention and prevention. Many of the concerned parents were pleased to learn FISD is considering hiring more counselors and using a new app for students and parents to anonymously report concerns. Even though conversations are continual between the City and FISD, it was important for our residents and especially our parents to witness the partnership and collaboration between us in person. Thank you everyone for participating in this crucial discussion. As I said last Friday, this is not a one time conversation. The safety of our children is our most important job. If you missed Coffee with the Mayor, you can watch all the presentations along with citizen’s questions and comments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpvonYQJspM&feature=em-uploademail
We held our 2nd Frisco Veterans Social on Friday evening at City Works. We were blown away at the number of veterans who came. There were over 200 people. It was such a fun time to talk to and meet all the veterans. Baylor, Scott & White was the major sponsor of the evening with Neil Farren’s Strykz and Patrick Walker’s Expedia CruiseShips financially assisting. Baylor, Scott & White’s new CEO, Trevor Castaneda, came and spoke, too. The whole evening was a big success and everyone cannot wait until the next one. Thank you to the entire Frisco Veterans Advisory Committee for organizing the social with a big shout out to Shenna Lawless for her outstanding leadership on this social.
Saturday was a very busy day filled with fantastic events. I started the day early welcoming all the runners and volunteers to the 3rd Annual Texas Big Star Half Marathon. This is a labor of love for the two main organizers, Paul Simon and Dustin Paschal. It is not just a run but a fun festival for the whole family with food, music and lots of giveaways. Thank you, Paul and Dustin, for working to make this great race a Frisco tradition.
Later in the day, the Main Street merchants held their annual stEATS festival. They bring in 60 food trucks and have lots of vendor booths and of course, the best music. I had the privilege to introduce my favorite Dallas band, Emerald City. It was still chilly in the afternoon but the weather did not stop the crowds. strEATS is one of the many ways our private sector is working to revitalize our historic downtown by increasing the foot traffic. Congrats, Mark Piper, President of the Downtown Merchants and big high five to Kim and Steve, owners of Manny’s.
We closed out Saturday evening at Phillips Creek Ranch neighborhood. Our Indian Affairs Committee organized another Chai with Cheney. It is beneficial to hold these types of open discussions regularly in our neighborhoods rather than City Hall. Deputy Mayor Pro Tem John Keating and Councilman Bill Woodard joined us, too. We had the usual questions about roads and construction but, also about opportunities for senior citizens in our city. One of the highlights was when Raghu Tadimeti spoke about the historical importance of the day. Raghu told us it was the day Lincoln was assassinated. He went on to inform everyone of the importance of Lincoln in the history of America by fighting for our country to remain united and the end of slavery. Thank you Ram Majji, Gopal Ponangi, Krishna Bhaskar, Khushboo Rawlley, and Neetu Patil for organizing this neighborhood event. And, thank you, John and Bill, for participating, too.
Frisco Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidate forum on Monday evening. They invited the candidates in the school board and city council races. I must admit, it was nice to just be in the audience. Dana and I are very familiar with what it takes to be a candidate and run a campaign. We thank each and every one of the candidates for running. It means you care about our community. Because of my experience with Mayor Pro Tem Will Sowell and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem John Keating, I have endorsed them both for reelection. I know their character and what each brings to the Council. Frisco needs to re-elect them both. School Board President John Classe is running unopposed. In the Place 7 open seat, I have chosen to endorse Rene’ Archambault. I believe she has the best experience and preparation to serve our FISD Board. Early voting begins next Monday, April 23rd, 8:00am to 5:00pm. No matter which county you live in, you can vote at any polling site in your county during early voting. Please go vote on Monday for John Keating and Will Sowell for City Council and John Classe and Rene’ Archambault for School Board. For more information on early voting and polling sites click here https://friscotexas.gov/1421/2018-General-Election
One of the highlights of City Council was Director of Development Services, John Lettelier, gave an analysis report on our Open Space ordinance. Frisco’s Open Space ordinance requires all developments to provide 10% meaningful open space. When we passed it late summer 2017, we thought there would be possible exceptions for small retail or fast food restaurants where the open space requirement would not be manageable. We were pleased to see John’s many examples of different types of businesses and developments and how the 10% requirement has worked in every case. Previous to the ordinance being passed, John and has team worked with developers to encourage more meaningful open spaces. He said after the 10% open space became a official requirement, it created clarity for him and his team. Thank you, John, for your excellent work for Frisco and for this informative report. This ordinance helps to keep Frisco more green and ultimately improve the quality of our developments.